I came to Japan to support the 'Curly Troops'. To show them some love and let them know that their service doesn't go unnoticed or unappreciated. Although I've received messages from folks stationed overseas and thought I had a pretty good understanding, when I finally arrived on the base, I was overwhelmed. These are women, just like you and me, but they really do the impossible everyday.
I was expecting around 15 attendees so imagine my surprise when 50 women showed up, of which 99% were active service women (the rest were wives and contractors). They came seeking good information, access, education and fellowship. And that's what went down. God bless our troops.
Crystal, a 'Curly Soldier' stationed here at Yakota Airforce Base helped the homie Melissa organize the event. She's a nutritionist and because of this, rather than our usual liquor (licka, lol), she laid out fresh fruit, veggies and a blender so that the ladies could juice! Fancy! She was very candid and taught me a lot that day, among other stuff, I learned- (1) as of 2009, locks aren't allowed in the US military, and (2) as an active airman, your hair can't extend 3 inches in bulk or height and they've been known to take rulers to TWAs!
She stated that she understands the need for standardization, but when the folks that make the rules have the kind of hair that lays flat naturally, they don't truly understand the challenges of the divas who hair grows UP. She said, "I need stock and bond in Ecostyler gel 'cause that's the only way we get it to lay... saturate it with gel!" She went on to say that there is no one in the area to give relaxers and those that do can charge exorbitant fees. So folks are forced to go natural and that's how they found CurlyNikki.com.
Crystal, originally from Jamaica, has been natural for 3 years and had to do a Big Chop because the permed hair couldn’t keep up with the frequent washes after her daily exercise routine. She stated that she loves wearing her hair out on her off days but if called to duty unexpectedly must destroy even the bombest of wet sets and pull it back into a bun to meet standards.
After the meetup, she wrote-
Estelle, a senior airman from Illinois has been natural for 1 year! She transitioned after a life time of damaging relaxers and dye jobs that left her looking like, 'joe dirt... with a mullet'! She let it grow out slowly and loves how healthy her hair is today. She stated that it's not easy to get products shipped to the base and ends up using lots of drug store conditioners.
"Let me start by saying thank you for coming out and supporting us. Everyone was pleased that you took the time out of your schedule to come talk hair with us military folks. You are a true gem! Just to show you how big your name has gotten, we filled the entire auditorium!!! Which was awesome!! It was very informative and everyone that left the building was so eager to try a new style and their SheaMoisture products for their hair/body. And on top of that you have the best personality, which will bring you far!!!! We are a growing community of natural sistahs and I'm pretty sure that your coming here gave some of us the umph to continue with the journey and some to even embark on the journey of becoming natural. Again, thank you for making us feel important enough for you to come here!"The view--
the homies Kim and Melissa
Huge THANKS to SheaMoisture for sponsoring this event and helping to make this experience possible!
the bear was a gift from CN reader Tiffanie (stationed here at Yakota), to Gia!
Nik love the kids, lol
Even more pics!
Again, I'd like to thank the 'Curly Troops', as well as SheaMoisture and Black Atlas: American Airlines for their sponsorship and support in turning what was an idea, into a reality.
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